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Is there a way to send a (sms) text to myself when I receive a new Gmail message and the subject contains a certain string?

Is there a feature in Gmail itself, a third party service, or an addon that would help me do this?

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  • I didn't realize that I could relieve the amount of cellular data usage by doing this in addition to saving battery life. Thanks for this question :). – cody.codes Jun 30 '14 at 2:22
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IFTTT (If This Then That) may be able to help you out. You can find Connect Gmail to SMS recipies here.

EDIT: As noted in the comments section, IFTTT stripped much of the Gmail functionality from their service in 2019, meaning this solution no longer works.

One other potential solution would be to use Zapier as they have some Gmail and SMS integrations, but it says that "only business accounts" will work for said feature.

Since cloud services may change, it might be more opportune to create your own service to accomplish this task:

If you are comfortable with writing code you could look into using Google Apps Script and AJAX requests with a PaaS which provides SMS communication APIs, such as Twilio, to accomplish a similar task. Unfortunately, from what I found there is not a simple installable trigger for when an email comes in; therefore you will need to write logic around a time trigger that will then process said email. This solution seems to work well for others (though I haven't tested it); as for hooking up Twilio to Apps Script, there's an official Google Video for how to do so with Google Sheets.

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  • 2
    great solution when combined with gmail filter apply labels – user15586 Jun 30 '14 at 4:33
  • Doesn't work.. it requires the latest version of iOS which older phones do not have access to. – Pacerier Jun 28 '18 at 18:34
  • Does not work anymore. They can only send notifications from their app, which requires active Internet connection on cellphone. – alexkovelsky Jul 4 '18 at 15:32
  • No, sorry, it does work, but there's no instruction. I had to create my own applet to get it to work, it's easy: 1. Create applet; 2. Add Gmail serivce; 3. Add SMS service; 4. Press "Finish". – alexkovelsky Jul 4 '18 at 15:56
  • It no longer works. There are no longer Gmail "triggers" in IFTTT. The Gmail/IFTTT integration was largely stripped in 2019. theverge.com/2019/3/25/18280512/… – ojchase Feb 23 at 6:10
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I don't know of a way to get it to send an SMS, but there is a solution if you have an Android phone.

I have my Gmail set with a filter (in settings-filters) to set a label ("notifyinandroid") for certain senders, then I have the Gmail app on my phone set to only notify me when items arrive with that label. You could also do this for certain subjects.

gmail settings screenshot

gmail phone app settings

That way my phone will notify me if I have an email from somebody that I care about. This setup works great for me.

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  • :is there an IOS solution? – user15586 Jun 30 '14 at 2:25
  • gmail filter doesn't allow you to filter emails that are from new emails only(never received before), does it? – user15586 Jun 30 '14 at 2:31
  • @user15586 Yes it does. – MrWhite Jun 30 '14 at 13:49
  • This "solution" requires you to be (permanently) logon to your gmail account on your phone. Not a good idea. – Pacerier Jun 28 '18 at 18:35
  • @Pacerier It's a perfect "solution" that I'm very happy with. An Android phone becomes pretty useless if you're not logged in to your Google account all the time... – localhost Jun 29 '18 at 0:21